Planting Potatoes and Paternal Wisdom

Without the daily prescribed medication: I would lose my ability to think rationally, and my attention span would dwindle to nothing, my body would creep into overdrive. I could feel this at the end of a work day as the medicine wore off and it scared me every day. Without the medication I could become more and more manic, eventually I would have to be hospitalize or worse… risk being incarcerated in prison.

This was one of the new realities of “Bipolar Disorder“. I was in my late twenties and just diagnosed . and there is more:
The daily medication was very expensive. without them,  I was a risk to myself or (mildly)to society.  So I had to work a full time job to pay for the medication.  I had to pay for and take the medication to work the full time job and remain part of society.

  • No medication or no work meant catastrophe.
  • Anytime with the medication, meant dealing with side effects, or the meds could stop working.
  • Miss time at work and I could lose my job.
  • Life was a daily cycle of fending off catastrophe.

I found this cycle frustrating, and I complain to my Father ( I had just moved home with my parents):

All I do is work ,so I can pay for bipolar disorder management, so I can work, so I can pay  for bipolar disorder...”

Dad’s replied with  a sympathetic grin:congratulations!.. you now have a child.

A truth blunted with humor.  The message was clear. The message , clearly and poetically stated  from a war veteran (Dad) ,who came home to raise a family while he worked (some times two jobs ) and finished college.
I had a new life-long responsibility. I was responsible for managing my health (the best I could). I was learning to be responsible to my self, family and community by doing what it to takes to manage my circumstances… Just like any other responsibility. I would do my best to repay those who helped me in those difficult days… especially my parents.

My father passed away recently and I am reminded of his wisdom on being responsible.
He also encouraged me to plant a potato just for fun (the photo above). It just bloomed recently.


About chris
I write because I'm not good at it. I share because, writing without sharing seems empty. Thus, I write and share what I think is meaningful.

3 Responses to Planting Potatoes and Paternal Wisdom

  1. some tough wisdom and gentle humour – a great combination!

  2. chris says:

    Reblogged this on Pennsylvania Echoes and commented:

    for my Late Father —

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